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yahooYahoo was found guilty by a court in Belgium for withholding personal information linked to Yahoo e-mail addresses, and fined €55,000 right away and an additional €10,000 for each day it keeps refusing to hand over the user data.

The e-mail addresses in question were used by a gang of alleged internet cons and Yahoo's defense was that it would only respond to American authorities

Yahoo got the maximum penalty for this charge.

Here is Yahoo's statement:

We strongly disagree with the court’s ruling and plan to file an immediate appeal.

Yahoo! Inc., a U.S. corporation, does not have business operations in Belgium and does not maintain the customer information at issue in Belgium. The United States and Belgium have a formal international treaty which the prosecutor should have followed to properly seek information from a U.S. company.

Yahoo! is not withholding information from the Belgium government. We have a legal and policy basis for not disclosing information in this type of case until the recognized international legal process is followed. We have raised this issue with the U.S. Government.

This decision could have negative implications for all foreign companies by unduly expanding the application of a law that should not apply to a company organized outside of Belgium and without a presence in Belgium.

[Credits: techcrunch]